Many different types of love exist, and Shakespeare certainly incorporated most, if not all, types in Romeo and Juliet. Some types of loveare erotic, or infatuation; genuine romantic love; love between friends; and love between family members, such as between father/mother and child, or between siblings or cousins. As we are limited to space and won't be able to discuss all of them, but below are a few ideas to help you get...
Many different types of love exist, and Shakespeare certainly incorporated most, if not all, types in Romeo and Juliet. Some types of love are erotic, or infatuation; genuine romantic love; love between friends; and love between family members, such as between father/mother and child, or between siblings or cousins. As we are limited to space and won't be able to discuss all of them, but below are a few ideas to help you get started.
Erotic love, or infatuation, is especially exemplified in the love shared between Romeo and Juliet. Since they fell in love at first sight, we can question whether their love is the kind of love that is strong and enduring or rather just a fleeting infatuation. An infatuation is an "all-absorbing passion" (Random House Dictionary). Even Friar Laurence questions the legitimacy of their love, especially Romeo's love for Juliet since he so fickle. As Friar Laurence expresses it, "Young men's love then lies / Not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes" (II.iii.68-69).
Aside from varieties of erotic and romantic love, Shakespeare even shows us examples of love between friends. Love between friends is especially exemplified in the strong friendship felt between Benvolio, Romeo, and Mercutio. Benvolio cares so much for his friend and cousin that he feels sad to see Romeo so brokenhearted in the very first scene, which we see when Romeo asks Benvolio if he is laughing at him, and Benvolio replies, "No, coz, I rather weep," meaning that Romeo's sorrow is making Benvolio want to cry for him (I.i182). We especially see how much Benvolio cares for Romeo when he tries to persuade Romeo to forget about Rosaline. In addition, we see just how much Romeo cares for Mercutio when the fact that Tybalt slays him incites Romeo to such uncontrolled feelings of rage that he wants revenge for Mercutio's death.
Different Views of Love Presented in the Play Romeo and Juliet
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Different Views of Love Presented in the Play Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare's most famous play, is all about love.
Several different aspects of love are presented in the play, including
unrequited love, parental love, the love of friendship and romantic
love. In this essay, I shall be examining the views Shakespeare
expresses on these different forms of love.
Romeo experiences unrequited love in his dealings with Rosaline. This
form of love is not portrayed in the play as real love, the type
experienced by Romeo and Juliet, but as something completely
different. When we first hear of Romeo I the play, we are told by his
father that he has locked himself in his room and "Shuts up his
windows," and "locks fair daylight out". Later in the play, when Romeo
is talking to his friends Benvolio and Mercutio, he talks about his
love for Rosaline. He says, "Love is a smoke made with the fume of
sighs," that love is "A madness most discreet", and that "Under love's
heavy burden do I sink". These give the impression that Romeo is
feeling self-pity for himself because of Rosaline's rejection, but I
also think that it shows something else. I think that it shows that
Romeo is desperate to be in love, and is in fact in love with the idea
of being in love. All of these things show that unrequited love is
very different to conventional romantic love. The feelings of
self-pity as shown by Romeo move it away from the idea of love, and
into the realms of infatuation and lust. This is well put by Friar
Lawrence, who says, "young men's love lies not truly in their hearts,
but in their eyes".
Parental love is also presented in the play. This type of love is
shown to be caring and protective, just after the first confrontation
in the play. Lady Montague, Romeo's Mother, after hearing about the
fight, asks "O where is Romeo?" and "Saw you him today?" and says that
she was "right glad I am he was not at this fray.
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" These phrases give
an indication that the love from a parent to their child is caring and
protective, His father says that "Black and portentous must this
humour prove," showing that he too is worried about Romeo's behaviour.
Shakespeare also expresses the fact that parental love involves
wanting the best for your children. Lord Capulet, Juliet's father has
arranged for her to marry Paris. Following the death of Tybalt, and
Juliet's grief at this, and her distress at Romeo's exile, the parents
move the wedding forward in the hope of cheering up Juliet. Her mother
tells her that Paris is "gallant, young and noble," showing how good
their choice of husband is. The parents really do believe, in my
opinion, that this is the best option for her and will make her happy,
saying that the news is "joyful tidings." Despite Juliet already being
married, I believe that the parents had the best of intentions in
wanting them to marry.
The relationship between Juliet and Nurse, although they are not
related, is parental because of the fact that Nurse raised Juliet. The
Nurse feels that Juliet is her daughter emotionally, after the death
of her own, Susan. Her love is shown to be humorous and jovial, swell
as caring. She teases Juliet when she returns from a meeting with
Romeo. She delays what she has to say to her, for example, " I am
weary, give me leave a while" and " Do you not see that I am out of
breath." She cares about Juliet greatly because of her being her
surrogate daughter, due to her vividly recalling her time looking
after Juliet when she was a baby.
Friendship is another type of love in the play. Romeo has two main
friends, Benvolio and Mercutio. The former is Romeo's cousin, whilst
the latter is kinsman to the Prince. During the first scene, Romeo's
two friends are seen trying to cheer Romeo up by trying to make him
stop thinking about Rosaline. They say that "you saw her fair, none
else being by" and "she shall scant show well that now seems best."
This indicates that Shakespeare was trying to put across the point
that friendship involves doing the best for people. He also shows
friendship in a different light. When Tybalt murders Mercutio, Romeo
is so enraged that he kills Tybalt. This shows that friendship is also
so close that you would kill. "Away to heaven respective lenity" and
"fire-eyed fury be my conduct now" illustrate this. Friendship is also
shown to have a limit. When Mercutio is stabbed by Tybalt, and knows
he will die, he says "A plague upon both your houses". This
illustrates that Mercutio has had enough of the hate between the two
The main romantic relationship in the play is that of Romeo and
Juliet. When they first meet at the party, they both speak to each
other using elaborate language with the common theme of religion, "If
I profane with my unworthiest this holy shrine" is one of the phrases
said. This romantic love between the couple appears to be true love,
due to the lifting of Romeo's spirits to a point where he is happy
after meeting Juliet. Friar Lawrence's reaction to this is
"Benedictite! What early tongue so saluteth me?" and "Thy wit is a
very bitter sweeting, it is a most sharp sauce." These show that this
love is different to that for Rosaline, indicating true love.
Two other romantic relationships in the play are that of Lord and Lady
Capulet and Montague. The ladies, during the first fight, stop them
from fighting, out of love for their husbands. To discourage them from
fighting, they say things like "A crutch, a crutch! Why call you for a
sword?" and "Thou shalt not stir one foot to seek a foe."
In conclusion, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet contain many different
forms of love, and each is presented by the writer to give a different
feeling for each.